If you’re not familiar with WordPress, there are thousands of plugins available that help you to customize and tweak your website or blog. According to the WordPress.org website, "Plugins can extend WordPress to do almost anything you can imagine."
They also claim that "WordPress Plugins allow easy modification, customization, and enhancement to a WordPress blog. Instead of changing the core programming of WordPress, you can add functionality with WordPress Plugins."
Could this be true? Yes – and the plugins are free.
With over 6,000 plugins available, you can fine-tune your site or blog without breaking the budget on expensive marketing or add-ons. These plugins include everything from shopping carts, analytic tools, RSS feeds and image handling to Twitter and advertising space.
Sure, pouring through thousands of plugins can be time consuming (and maybe a little bit boring) but it’s well worth the effort.
To save you some time, I’d like to share my top 20 picks:
Akismet checks your comments against the Akismet web service to see if they look like spam or not.
- All in One SEO Pack
Out-of-the-box SEO for your WordPress blog.
- BluBrry PowerPress
Adds podcasting support to your blog. Features include: media player, 3rd party statistics and iTunes integration.
- Contact Form
- Featured Content Gallery
Used to create a fully automated featured content gallery anywhere within your WordPress theme.
- FeedBlitz "Member Mail"
Enables hosted WordPress blogs to integrate FeedBlitz email newsletter signup with the user registration screen.
- Google AdSense Now!
Aiming at simplicity, AdSense Now! does only one thing: it puts your AdSense code in up to three spots in your posts and pages (both existing ones and those yet to be written).
- Google Analytics for WordPress
Google Analytics is a free, and very impressive, statistics package. Easily add the tracking code to your pages with this plugin and track your progress.
The Link To This Page (BETA) WordPress plugin provides a quick, simple to use, and unobtrusive way for users to obtain a link to your page or post for their own web site.
Redirection is a WordPress plugin to manage 301 redirections, keep track of 404 errors, and generally tidy up any loose ends your site may have. This is particularly useful if you are migrating pages from an old website, or are changing the directory of your WordPress installation.
- Role Manager
Role Management for WordPress.
Let your visitors share a post/page with others. Supports e-mail and posting to social bookmarking sites.
A feature rich chat forum plugin for WordPress. It fully integrates into your WP based site utilizing the same user records and database and displaying on a single WP page.
Displays gorgeous YouTube galleries in your posts, pages, and/or sidebar.
- TweetMeme Button
Adds the TweetMeme button into your posts and RSS feed.
- Twitter for WordPress
Displays yours latest tweets in your WordPress blog.
- Viper's Video Quicktags
Easily embed videos from various video websites such as YouTube, DailyMotion, and Vimeo into your posts.
- WordPress Automatic Upgrade
Every now and then you need to upgrade WordPress to the latest version, with this plugin you can do so by clicking to upgrade and it is taken care of for you, even backing up your site before the upgrade.
- WordPress Database Backup
On-demand backup of your WordPress database.
- WP Popup Scheduler
Allows you to schedule a popup as and when you want it. This pop-up plugin is fully customizable and can be used for all kind of situation.
Honorable Mentions...by Members of My SUPER BootCamp!
This plugin for WordPress allows you to display Flickr photos on your weblog.
- WordPress Global Translator Plugin
Automatically translate your blog in 41 different languages.
- Exclude Pages
Provides you with a checkbox on the editing page which you can check to exclude pages from the primary navigation.
Quickly and easily create powerful review sites using WordPress.
- Testimonials Manager
Allows you to manage and display testimonials for your blog, product or service.
This plugin allows you to make a WordPress page or post link to a URL of your choosing, instead of its WordPress page or post URL.
Also see: Premium WordPress Themes
If your looking for hosting I recommend BlueHost.com because they are the developers of SimpleScripts, a one button WordPress installation tool for non-techies. It's brilliant. See full tutorial.
BlueHost.com also offers 24/7 North American based telephone support. They are helpful and will never make you feel like a dummy.